Intersections of Buddhist philosophy and psychological science : an exploration of common and differential effects of meditation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p2677050t

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  • Interweaving perspectives from both social cognitive psychology and Tibetan Buddhism, the present study examined common and differential effects of two styles of meditation: Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and mindfulness meditation (MM). Psychological theories of construct accessibility postulate that cognitive constructs activated frequently are more readily available for processing stimuli. Researchers in the present experiment propose that individuals practicing LKM chronically activate constructs of a prosocial and compassionate nature. These constructs then become more accessible for processing interpersonal and situational stimuli, thus providing a cognitive mechanism by which the effects of LKM are experienced. Secondarily, researchers sought to investigate the effects of a meditation intervention on individual differences in coping with interpersonal conflict. Conflict coping tends to occur in patterned responses that develop early in life and pervades through adulthood, much like that of attachment styles (Ben-Ari & Hirschberg, 2009). In impact interpersonal conflict coping styles. Researchers hypothesized the effects of LKM specifically would cause meditators to shift to more positive and proactive styles of coping with conflict. Oregon State University (OSU) students participated in an eight-week meditation intervention, where students were randomly assigned to practice LKM or MM. Baseline, during-, and post-intervention self-report and cognitive measures were collected. Hypotheses regarding prosocial construct activation, working memory capacity, interpersonal conflict coping were explored, as well as a battery of self-report measures examining psychological well-being and life satisfaction.
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